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TBL(1)									TBL(1)

       tbl - format tables for troff

       tbl [ -Cv ] [ files... ]

       This manual page describes the GNU version of tbl, which is part of the
       groff document formatting system.  tbl compiles descriptions of	tables
       embedded	 within troff input files into commands that are understood by
       troff.  Normally, it should be invoked using the -t  option  of	groff.
       It is highly compatible with Unix tbl.  The output generated by GNU tbl
       cannot be processed with Unix troff; it	must  be  processed  with  GNU
       troff.	If  no files are given on the command line, the standard input
       will be read.  A filename of - will cause  the  standard	 input	to  be

       -C     Recognize	 .TS  and  .TE even when followed by a character other
	      than space or newline.

       -v     Print the version number.

       tbl expects to find table descriptions wrapped in the .TS (table start)
       and  .TE	 (table	 end)  macros.	The line immediately following the .TS
       macro may contain any of the following  global  options	(ignoring  the
       case of characters -- Unix tbl only accepts options with all characters
       lowercase or all characters uppercase):

       center Centers the table (default is left-justified).  The  alternative
	      keyword name centre is also recognized (this is a GNU tbl exten‐

	      Use x and y as start and end delimiters for eqn(1).

       expand Makes the table as wide as the current line length.

       box    Encloses the table in a box.

	      Encloses the table in a double box.

       allbox Encloses each item of the table in a box.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

	      Same as doublebox (GNU tbl only).

       tab(x) Uses the character x instead of a tab to	separate  items	 in  a
	      line of input data.

	      Sets lines or rules (e.g. from box) in n-point type.

       nokeep Don't  use  diversions  to  prevent  page breaks (GNU tbl only).
	      Normally tbl attempts to prevent undesirable breaks in the table
	      by  using	 diversions.   This  can sometimes interact badly with
	      macro packages' own use of diversions, when footnotes, for exam‐
	      ple, are used.

	      Set  the	character  to  be  recognized  as the decimal point in
	      numeric columns (GNU tbl only).

	      Ignore leading and trailing spaces in data items (GNU tbl only).

       The global options must end with a semicolon.  There  might  be	white‐
       space after an option and its argument in parentheses.

       After  global  options come lines describing the format of each line of
       the table.  Each such format line  describes  one  line	of  the	 table
       itself,	except	that  the  last format line (which you must end with a
       period) describes all remaining lines of the table.  A single key char‐
       acter  describes	 each  column  of each line of the table.  You may run
       format specs for multiple lines together on the same line by separating
       them with commas.

       You  may	 follow	 each key character with specifiers that determine the
       font and point size of the corresponding item,  that  determine	column
       width, inter-column spacing, etc.

       The  longest  format  line  defines the number of columns in the table;
       missing format descriptors at the end of format lines are assumed to be
       `L'.   Extra  columns  in  the data (which have no corresponding format
       entry) are ignored.

       The available key characters are:

       c,C    Centers item within the column.

       r,R    Right-justifies item within the column.

       l,L    Left-justifies item within the column.

       n,N    Numerically justifies item in the	 column:  Units	 positions  of
	      numbers are aligned vertically.

       s,S    Spans previous item on the left into this column.

       a,A    Centers  longest line in this column and then left-justifies all
	      other lines in this column with respect to that centered line.

       ^      Spans down entry from previous row in this column.

       _,-    Replaces this entry with a horizontal line.

       =      Replaces this entry with a double horizontal line.

       |      The corresponding column becomes a  vertical  rule  (if  two  of
	      these are adjacent, a double vertical rule).

       A  vertical  bar to the left of the first key-letter or to the right of
       the last one produces a line at the edge of the table.

       Here are the specifiers that can appear in suffixes to column key  let‐

       b,B    Short form of fB (make affected entries bold).

       i,I    Short form of fI (make affected entries italic).

       t,T    Start  an	 item vertically spanning rows at the top of its range
	      rather than vertically centering it.

       d,D    Start an item vertically spanning rows  at  the  bottom  of  its
	      range rather than vertically centering it (GNU tbl only).

       v,V    Followed	by  a number, this indicates the vertical line spacing
	      to be used in a multi-line table entry.  If signed, the  current
	      vertical	line  spacing  is  incremented or decremented (using a
	      signed number instead of a signed digit is a GNU tbl extension).
	      A	 vertical  line spacing specifier followed by a column separa‐
	      tion number must be separated by one or more blanks.  No	effect
	      if the corresponding table entry isn't a text block.

       f,F    Either  of  these	 specifiers  may  be  followed	by a font name
	      (either one or two  characters  long),  font  number  (a	single
	      digit),  or long name in parentheses (the last form is a GNU tbl
	      extension).  A one-letter font name must be separated by one  or
	      more blanks from whatever follows.

       p,P    Followed	by  a  number,	this  does a point size change for the
	      affected fields.	If signed, the current point  size  is	incre‐
	      mented or decremented (using a signed number instead of a signed
	      digit is a GNU tbl extension).  A point size specifier  followed
	      by  a  column separation number must be separated by one or more

       w,W    Minimal column width  value.   Must  be  followed	 either	 by  a
	      troff(1)	width expression in parentheses or a unitless integer.
	      If no unit is given, en  units  are  used.   Also	 used  as  the
	      default  line length for included text blocks.  If used multiple
	      times, the last entry takes effect.

       e,E    Make equally-spaced columns.

       u,U    Move the corresponding column up one half-line.

       z,Z    Ignore the corresponding column for width-calculation purposes.

       A number suffix on a key character is interpreted as a  column  separa‐
       tion  in	 ens  (multiplied  in  proportion if the expand option is on).
       Default separation is 3n.

       The format lines are followed by lines containing the actual  data  for
       the  table, followed finally by .TE.  Within such data lines, items are
       normally separated by tab characters (or the character  specified  with
       the  tab option).  Long input lines can be broken across multiple lines
       if the last character on the line is `\' (which vanishes after concate‐

       A dot starting a line, followed by anything but a digit is handled as a
       troff command, passed through without changes.  The table  position  is
       unchanged in this case.

       If  a  data  line consists of only `_' or `=', a single or double line,
       respectively, is drawn across the table at that point; if a single item
       in  a data line consists of only `_' or `=', then that item is replaced
       by a single or double line, joining its neighbours.   If	 a  data  item
       consists	 only  of `\_' or `\=', a single or double line, respectively,
       is drawn across the field at that point which does not join its	neigh‐

       A data item consisting only of `\Rx' (`x' any character) is replaced by
       repetitions of character `x' as wide as the  column  (not  joining  its

       A  data	item  consisting only of `\^' indicates that the field immedi‐
       ately above spans downward over this row.

       A text block can be used to enter data as a single entry which would be
       too  long as a simple string between tabs.  It is started with `T{' and
       closed with `T}'.  The latter must start a line, probably  followed  by
       other data columns (separated with tabs).

       To  change  the data format within a table, use the .T& command (at the
       start of a line).  It is followed by format  and	 data  lines  (but  no
       global options) similar to the .TS request.

       tbl(1)  should  always  be called before eqn(1) (groff(1) automatically
       takes care of the correct order of preprocessors).

       There is no limit on the number of columns in a table, nor any limit on
       the  number of text blocks.  All the lines of a table are considered in
       deciding column widths, not just the  first  200.   Table  continuation
       (.T&) lines are not restricted to the first 200 lines.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may appear in the same column.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may span horizontally.

       tbl uses register, string, macro and diversion names beginning with the
       digit 3.	 When using tbl you should avoid  using	 any  names  beginning
       with a 3.

       You should use .TS H/.TH in conjunction with a supporting macro package
       for all multi-page boxed tables.	 If there is no header that  you  wish
       to  appear  at  the  top	 of each page of the table, place the .TH line
       immediately after the format section.  Do not enclose a multi-page  ta‐
       ble within keep/release macros, or divert it in any other way.

       A text block within a table must be able to fit on one page.

       The bp request cannot be used to force a page-break in a multi-page ta‐
       ble.  Instead, define BP as follows

	      .de BP
	      .ie '\\n(.z'' .bp \\$1
	      .el \!.BP \\$1

       and use BP instead of bp.

       Using \a directly in a table to get leaders will	 not  work.   This  is
       correct behaviour: \a is an uninterpreted leader.  To get leaders use a
       real leader, either by using a control A or like this:

	      .ds a \a
	      lw(1i) l.

       Lesk, M.E.: "TBL -- A Program to Format Tables".	 For copyright reasons
       it  cannot  be  included	 in  the groff distribution, but copies can be
       found with a title search on the World Wide Web.

       groff(1), troff(1)

Groff Version 1.18.1		   Nov	2003				TBL(1)

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